Dwyane Wade Says His 12-Year-Old Will Go By The Name Zaya: 'We're Proud Parents'

Former NBA star said he and Gabrielle Union are also “proud LGBTQ+ allies.

Dwyane Wade has been getting tons of love (and ridiculous backlash) for being supportive of his 12-year-old child. Now, the NBA legend has revealed that Zion will now go by the name Zaya.

Wade said on Tuesday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, “First of all me and my wife, Gabrielle Union, we are proud parents of a child in the LGBTQ+ community and we’re proud allies as well. We take our roles and responsibilities as parents very seriously. So, when our child comes home with a question, when our child comes home with an issue, when our child comes home with anything it’s our job as parents to listen to that to give them the best information that can, the best feedback that we can, and that doesn’t change now that sexuality [and gender] is involved.”

He continued, explaining the change, "Once Zaya, a 12-year-old came home -- first Zion... I don't know if everybody knows, originally named Zion born as a boy -- once Zaya came home and said, 'Hey, I want to talk to you guys. I think, going forward, I'm ready to live my truth." He revealed the 12-year-old asked to be called "she" and to go by the name Zaya.

Wade explained, "Internally, it’s our job to one go out and get information, to reach out to every relationship that we have. My wife reached out to everyone on the cast of Pose. We just tried to figure out as much information as we can to help our child be her best self.” Pose is the FX show that highlights the Black and Latinx ballroom scene, which is a subculture in the queer community.

RELATED: Dwyane Wade’s Comments About Raising A Gay Son Will Leave You In Tears

Wade also said he affirmed Zaya, “I looked at her and said, 'You are a leader. It’s our opportunity to allow you to be a voice’ Right now, it’s through us because she’s 12 years old, but eventually it will be through her.”
Previously, Wade has said Gabrielle Union helped him to be more open-minded with Zaya’s identity. Wade has another child, Zaire, 18, with ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches, who is Zaya's biological mother. Also, a son, Xavier, 6, with Aja Metoyer. He has custody of his nephew, Dahveon, 17 and in November of 2018, Union and Wade welcomed their first daughter together, Kaavia James, via a surrogate.
Watch the clip of the interview here and you can watch the full interview today on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

Wade is promoting his new ESPN documentary D Wade: Life Unexpected, which airs February 23.  

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

By clicking Subscribe, you confirm that you have read and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. You also agree to receive marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers) and other information from BET and the Paramount family of companies. You understand that you can unsubscribe at any time.